1:17 pm March 21, 2010, by David O'Brien
March 21st, 20105:26 pm
“So it’s being on time, and being in the right position when the pitch is in the zone, to take a good swing. And that’s something I haven’t been doing.” –McLouth
Everyone love’s punctual players.
March 21st, 20105:28 pm
i guess Cal knows what kind of game it is going to be already. less than a minute in a Cal player has to leave for blood, and another gets a loose ball foul
yup that’s one of the advantages Schaeffeur has. if he starts running behind he can just flap them ears a few times and catch right up “)
March 21st, 20105:29 pm
guess princess jasmine isn’t a sports girl
March 21st, 20105:34 pm
lpad – you betcha!
Zubek is going to get a piece of that pony-tailed thug for Cal too.
March 21st, 20105:35 pm
I agree, nolie.
We (me too) like to poke fun at Norton for his ‘09, but the last half of ‘08 he hit .323/.597/1.058. And, he had one of the best lines ever from a Brave, “Bench me or trade me.” lol
March 21st, 20105:38 pm
mixxo, it would be nice to see duke play 5 on 5 for once instead of 8 on 5.
March 21st, 20105:42 pm
It obviously needs it or you wouldn’t use it so much. glad to help out there lil buddy.
Hey, you’re right – you are making me feel much better! Thanks, Masked Stranger!
joerochester – your cutting and pasting skills are absolutely nonpareil. That was awesome.
So, back to the topic at hand, bench construction. I’ll have a look at how bench guys actually get used, since apparently neither of you is actually interested in whether what you’re arguing is accurate or not. The home side had 202 PH attempts last year, the majority being high leverage (risp, close and late, etc.) opportunities. Having a bona fide hitter would be really useful in this situation, as this person is definitely going to be a part of the game outcome. Compare that with what happens with a mid-game defensive replacement. There is no guarantee the ball is going to go towards that person, and if so, no guarantee the play will even be difficult – you could bring in Andruw Jones in his prime and it wouldn’t make a difference on most days. The PH on the other hand, is DEFINITELY going to deploy his skill set each time he’s brought in. In the event of injury, and a true defensive player is required, one can be brought from the minors in time for the next game. The vast majority of tactical advantage is going to come from capitalizing on offensive opportunities, not defensive ones.
March 21st, 20105:48 pm
Thank you, Spike. I did a right click–copy/paste.
March 21st, 20105:49 pm
You’re not taking into account midgame injuries, though.
March 21st, 20105:50 pm
A bench should be full of hitters who can’t field spike
hedge all you want spike. this is what you said
The Ghost of P.L.
monty……………Bobby kept Norton around because he was one of “his boys”.
If Bobby Cox stuck with Norton all year long, stuck with Francoeur and Kelly Johnson for 3 months……….then I dont think that it is asking for too much for Bobby to stick with McLouth for one month.
Unlike Norton, Francoeur and Kelly………I feel that Nate McLouth is actually capable of rewarding the Braves for their patience with his ability to be a table setter for our offense AND play some decent defense in center. He’s the only natural center fielder we have right now (do any of you really want to see Blanco on our roster?).
March 21st, 20105:51 pm
March 21st, 2010
Anyone else see the Mich State/Maryland finish? I was eating lunch and an awesome buzzer beater it was.”
I did, and indeed it was!
March 21st, 20105:57 pm
Duke is looking good early.
March 21st, 20105:59 pm
read a bit more closely – “In the event of injury, and a true defensive player is required, one can be brought from the minors in time for the next game.”
and furthermore, just how many mid game injury replacements do you think happen over the course of a season – a dozen maybe? And the idea that this person is still going to HAVE to hit, but may never see a defensive chance still holds.
A bench should be full of hitters who can’t field spike
hedge all you want spike. this is what you said
Where exactly have I hedged this? And where exactly, have you demonstrated it not to be true?
I’m calling it now: Cornell over Kentucky!
March 21st, 20106:00 pm
MIBravesFan………This has to be the most exciting NCAAs I’ve seen in quite some time. More buzzer beaters and upsets combined than any in recent memory.
After seeing the previous buzzer beaters so far, I had no doubt that when the shot left the Michigan St. player’s hands that it was going in. Just the way it’s been going this year.
March 21st, 20106:04 pm
And where exactly, have you demonstrated it not to be true? Spike
and where have you demonstrated it to be true? It’s your statement you should provide the proof, say by listing every major league team that has nothing but hitters who can’t field on their bench. Of course you won’t because you already know that teams in real life don’t do that, you just like to talk down to folks. hope its helping your mood today
According to ESPN, The Twins & Joe Mauer agree to a 8-year, $184 million extension.
March 21st, 20106:07 pm
Izzo’s 85 percent sure Lucas has a torn ACL. I’m surprised looked like it was just sprain. Northern Iowa has a real shot now.
March 21st, 20106:08 pm
Is that idiot back for another fight?
You’d think he would give up after all the whippings he’s had.
atlantaspike……….I have to side with you on the topic of wanting instant offense from your bench. Diory Hernandez had a good glove, however what did he do for us offensively while Escobar was hurt? Nothing.
Other than Infante (who was hurt for over 2 months), Diaz and Prado (who languished on the bench while Bobby Cox stuck with “his boys” Francoeur and Kelly) and the 3 week stretch from Brooks Conrad before he was promptly sent back to the Minors……..we got squat from our bench in 2009.
After the debacle that was our bench last year, it would be nice to see Bobby pick some players who can actually pinch hit and deliver a big hit (or at least be a threat to do so…..something that Greg “the only way I can get on base is to hope that the pitcher forgets to throw strikes” Norton was unable to do).
March 21st, 20106:10 pm
You’re also missing the point of having bench players. They don’t just hit. You need them for specific game situations.. i.e. bunting, speed, etc.
March 21st, 20106:12 pm
I provided you with a brief summary of why PH’s have more of an opportunity to influence a game over fielding replacements. QED a better hitter would be more useful in this construct. You responded with another assertion, natch, rather than factually addressing my argument.
You followed this with another complaint about my conduct. If you’d care to page back through the thread, I posted my opinion, followed by you calling me an idiot. I pointed out your fact-free assertions, and you replied that “MA! teh smart kidz iz using big wordses again to me look like a doofus – hey cut it out you guys!”
Ad hominems and whining really don’t constitute an affirmative defense of your position, but do carry on if it’s all you’ve got.
he thinks he wins something if he can make an exaggerated ludicrous statement and get some fool to agree to it, or somebody else to get mad about it.
We should really be feeling sorry for him rather than reacting to him, but sometimes its just so much fun to play with him.
March 21st, 20106:17 pm
NOOOOO! – Nolie used the “Nuh Uh!” defense! You win this time – but I’ll be back! Gaaaaaah – foiled again!
March 21st, 20106:18 pm
Kimbrel is the best reliever of that group DOBI… who cares if he is 20
“If he is good enough he is OLD enough”
March 21st, 20106:20 pm
ME man that is soo sad. ain’t fantasy ball spike
SPIKE I yield to your riveting, well-researched logic. Really, this is the kind of commentary you are only going to get on an AJC Blog. It’s what keeps me coming back.
March 21st, 20106:21 pm
yup that’s one of the advantages Schaeffeur has.
nolie, I know not of whom you speak.
Rob from SC
March 21st, 2010
Kimbrel is the best reliever of that group DOBI… who cares if he is 20
March 21st, 20106:23 pm
guess princess jasmine isn’t a sports girl Lpad
Well, she could appreciate punctuality by the end of the tale. Aladdin was always runnin’ late!
Enter your comments here
March 21st, 20106:24 pm
8 yrs – $184 M : Pretty steep contract for a catcher. He gets a better deal than Mark Teixeira. Just wow!
You know, Schaeffeur, the center fielder who drives that limo for hire.
March 21st, 20106:26 pm
but is he good enough yet,Doggy? history of real wildness.
March 21st, 20106:27 pm
If he is good enough he is OLD enough
True, which is why Heyward will more than likely be the opening day right fielder. Kimbrel needs work, just like Hanson did. No doubt Hanson was a better option out of ST last year, but he needed to work out some kinks before he was thrown to the fire. The minor leagues are there for a reason. Why not let Kimbrel at least prove he’s ready in AAA at the beginning of the season? Because more than likely, if he proves he’s ready, he’ll be up pretty quickly.
March 21st, 20106:28 pm
Good for Mauer. Minnesota stepped up like they should and resigned him. He got fair market value without having to take a hometown discount.
Because he’s a lot better than Texeria.
March 21st, 20106:30 pm
I doubt they could afford Morneau now, though.
Pretty steep contract for a catcher. He gets a better deal than Mark Teixeira. Just wow!
Well, they do have that designated hitter crud over there. Plus, Mauer is a great, great player. I think that’s a great deal for him and I doubt the Twins will regret it.
Wow, thats a BIG contract. First reaction is that is too much to give to a catcher since you don’t know how they will hold up in their later years, but they do have the DH position, so all is good I guess.
Is this bad news for how much we might have to pay McCann when he is coming up on free agency?
March 21st, 20106:31 pm
They do have him for a few more years.
March 21st, 20106:32 pm
You’re argument imagines a league full of people like Lenny Harris. Fact is, if there was an abundance of these bench players you describe, they’re already DHing in the AL or playing 1st base in the NL.
Joe Mauer agrees to an extension with the Twins. 8yrs/184mil. 23 million a year, full no trade clause.
March 21st, 20106:38 pm
You’re argument imagines a league full of people like Lenny Harris joe r
he knows the flaws in his argument joe. Its a regular approach of his.Its just an excuse to ridicule folks.
March 21st, 20106:40 pm
Why you callin me joe?
March 21st, 20106:41 pm
Yeah he might be better than Mark Teixeira. Yeah they might have a DH.As a slugging catcher there is a premium on his production. But still, with a catcher – even if he catches 120-130 games a year – the body takes quite a beating. To give 23M/yr for the next 8 years seems like a huge commitment for the Twins, who generally have low payrolls. Last year they had a payroll of ~59M.
Steve from OH
March 21st, 20106:43 pm
RG–well said re: Kimbrel
sorry THIN, misaligned the posts
March 21st, 20106:44 pm
Damn, I almost stole credit for another post.
So what are you saying? Suprised the Twins found the money or that Mauer isn’t worth the contract?
March 21st, 20106:45 pm
Oh well it was 67M according to ESPN. But still….
March 21st, 20106:47 pm
Just messin, what’s in a name. Was hoping atlspike was taking the bait on you’re instead of your – come on spike, dazzle us.
its a big % of their payroll no doubt. and catchers do wear out earlier than most. calculated gamble. likely worth it if he stays healthy that long I guess
March 21st, 20106:48 pm
Suprised Twins found the money – Yes.
Also suprised they went for the length-money combo. Mauer is definitely worth 23M right now and will possible be for the next few years. Not absolutely sure after 2015. Who knows about trades down the line though. Also, like joerochester said, there isnt even a hint of a hometown discount.
March 21st, 20106:51 pm
He has had back issues, but you move a guy that hits like Mauer to 1st in a couple of years.
March 21st, 20106:54 pm
I wonder if Minnesota included a lot of deferred money in that deal; I would imagine that they’ll be paying him millions over the next 30 years.
March 21st, 20106:55 pm
If Minnesota’s pitching can step it up this year, they can do some damage.
back injuries can sometimes derail a career no matter the position .long term contracts are always a gamble. good luck to them, he is a great player as of now no doubt
March 21st, 20106:57 pm
hey snotboogie… seems to me like espn was only off 110 million or so, no big deal haha
but seriously, 23 million per to a catcher? dude has only shown one season with power… the avg has always been there but what if he goes back to hitting 9 homers and batting .350 a year? … are those numbers worth 23 million? no. they arent even worth half of that… now, they would be worth 15 million or so if joe could steal 50 bases, but he cant. just a very very risky contract in my opinion.
dude goes from hitting 6 hr, to 9, to 13, then back to 7, then back to 9…then up to 28. you cant count on that 28 number from him year in and year out… that has to be considered an outlier in the equation in my opinion. in 5+ seasons he doesnt even have a 100 rbi year…
too much money!
I like Mauer a lot. He’s a great player with a great attitude.
They do have Morneau tied up till ‘13. So its going to be one heck of a combo and I guess they could move Mauer to 1B around then. But Mauer is supposed to be a great defensive catcher too and thats part of the value he brings (GG award in 08 and 09). In my opinion (who’s asking though) moving him only makes the contract look worse. Anyway, the twins have been run and managed well over the last several years. New stadium, and who knows what else is going to give them more money. Watch out AL central!!
March 21st, 20106:58 pm
It would take a contract like that for any team. If the Twins didn’t gamble, the 2 Yangeese or Blood Sox would’ve.
March 21st, 20106:59 pm
Don’t forget that they can DH Mauer, too, saving some wear and tear on his knees/body normal to catching.
March 21st, 20107:01 pm
You guys are probably correct, it is a lot of money. Hometown favorite I guess.
March 21st, 20107:02 pm
joerochester…………the name of the game is scoring. Look at the NBA for instance. Sure, you want guys who can play some defense on your bench. However usually you’ll see a team have a 6th man whose job is to come off the bench and score. Usually the 6th man will bring instant offense into the game.
I’m not saying that the Braves shouldnt have players on the bench who cant field the ball. I’m saying that I place a bigger emphasis on hitting.
Look at the Phillies. The past several years they had both Matt Stairs and Greg Dobbs who could come off the bench and deliver instant offense. As good as their offense is, the Phillies wouldnt have won the World Series in 2008 if not for some key pinch hits by both Stairs and Dobbs.
March 21st, 20107:03 pm
I remember some talk early this spring about Selig’s Task Force considering abolishing the DH. Anyone hear anything more?
I know it’s a pipe dream, but wouldn’t it be lovely.
I know. You also need speed and situational bunting/stealing.
If the Twins didn’t gamble, the 2 Yangeese or Blood Sox would’ve. THIN
yeah but the Yanks or Bosox can afford it better and not be completely devastated if it goes awry. and BraveMan raised a legitimate question, will he continue to hit 20+ homers? who knows. risky but they showed that they cared enough to gamble.
are they getting any of the same pressure to raise payroll that Florida has gotten. For years they pocketed big bucks from MLB too.
March 21st, 20107:04 pm
So I saw your comment the other day about there being cool gals out there and I wanted to reply, but the blog wouldn’t let me. Anyways, I was going to say that now all you had to do was write a poem and you’d have all the blog-ladies melting.
March 21st, 20107:06 pm
Look at the Phillies. The past several years they had both Matt Stairs and Greg Dobbs who could come off the bench and deliver instant offense. Ghost
nobody is saying they shouldn’t have a couple of boppers off the bench, that’s obvious. the statement made was that the bench should be full of hitters who can’t field. Huge difference
March 21st, 20107:07 pm
Roman Gal………Kinks? What kinks did Tommy Hansen need to work out? I’m curious.
If I remember correctly, Tommy Hansen dominated Double A ball in 2008. He went on to dominate the Arizona Fall League that year as well. Then he proceeded to have a good 2009 Spring Training. Finally he dominated the first 2 months of Triple A.
Tommy Hansen was ready to be a member of the Braves rotation on Opening Day of 2009. I’m not sure exactly what kinks he had that needed to be worked out. Please elaborate on that, lol.
March 21st, 20107:08 pm
risky but they showed that they cared enough to gamble.
But think about what would happen if the Twinkies didn’t sign him. Heck, even I would’ve been ticked. There are certain players that just sort of belong to an organization…Chipper is a Brave, Jeter is a Yankee, Mauer is a Twin. There would be a great imbalance in the world if any of those changed.
March 21st, 20107:09 pm
The twins havent been as notoriously stingy as the Marlins.Cant believe that the Marlins’ payroll in 06 was under 15M. Twins have steadily increased their payroll while still playing a lot of the cheaper guys.Dont believe they would been pressurized by MLB much. Take a look.
March 21st, 20107:10 pm
They just locked up Span for a few years, too.
March 21st, 20107:11 pm
RG–thanks, but poetry ain’t my style, LOL! I can barely write my own name, much less a poem.
I’m encouraged by the Mauer signing. If a mid-market team like the Twins can find reason to pony up that kind of dough, I’m more confident that the Braves may have the ability to do so in the future for a certain outfielder. I realize that it isn’t exactly apples-to-apples, but let me have my delusions, ok?
joerochester…….what good is speed and situational bunting/stealing if you dont have anyone to knock them in?
March 21st, 20107:12 pm
thanx snot I just wondered.
March 21st, 20107:13 pm
You may have to take a day off in a couple of months. We’re trying to get Patterson Hood for the June performance in the Bowman House Concert Series. As it is now, we’ve got Gretchen Peters in April and Terri Hendrix in May. Stay tuned.
“Art will always be Art.” – Goethe
….what good is speed and situational bunting/stealing if you dont have anyone to knock them in? GHOST
you are still arguing a strawman. that was not the original point.
March 21st, 20107:15 pm
bouncey ball? you’d have to do a lot of arguing to convince me of that
nolie – Whether you like basketball or not, you have to at least somewhat concede that a single-elimination tournament of 64 of the top teams in basketball can be exciting. Especially considering that it creates interesting matchups of teams/conferences/geographic areas that would otherwise never happen
What kinks did Tommy Hansen need to work out?
Well, considering Tommy Hansen is a porn star, it’s probably not appropriate for me to talk about his kinks…
March 21st, 20107:17 pm
nolie………….was dude over the top with his “bench full of hitters who cant field” comment? Sure. However I do understand what he was trying to say. He was just expressing his frustration with the lack quality pinch hitting that we had in 2009.
I feel that when it comes down to it, I place a higher priority on hitting over defensive prowess when it comes to building a bench.
March 21st, 20107:18 pm
But seriously, Ghost, did you watch the kid last ST? He struggled with his command. He went deep into counts on most hitters and the problem didn’t stop right away in AAA. He needed that time there for whatever reason, because once he came to Atlanta he did well. Going deep into counts on the hitters was sort of his M.O.
March 21st, 20107:19 pm
I’m sure its exciting to those who care Jeffrey, just no amount of argument is gonna make me into one of them
March 21st, 20107:21 pm
but poetry ain’t my style Steve from OH
Mine either, but I sure do like Haikus!
The Atlanta Braves
are going to be World Champs
for Bobby’s last year!
Roman Gal……….great way to dodge answering a valid question.
You just showed me that you dont know what the hell you’re talking about. Your poor attempt at deflecting attention to my inadvertent spelling of Hanson’s name shows that you simply didnt like the fact that I had the nerve to question your point that Tommy Hanson needed to work out some kinks at the beginning of 2009.
March 21st, 20107:22 pm
The Bloody Sox and Yangeese are definately in different situations and can afford lots of mistakes. I’d go with you and snot on the size of gamble to an org like the Twins.
March 21st, 20107:25 pm
You just showed me that you dont know what the hell you’re talking about.
Right…wait! What’s that? Oh, right…I did answer your question. So why don’t you go down to the grocery store and buy some crow, because you need to eat some.
March 21st, 20107:26 pm
….was dude over the top with his “bench full of hitters who cant field” comment? GHOST
that was my point, but instead of saying it was just hyperbole, he tried to defend it by snide condescending comments. and it was sure not the first time he has used that approach.
as for the bench I want a couple of guys who can bash whether they can play much D or not, but I also want several guys who are decent defenders at various positions. Hopefully they can at least hit some too. I am not advocating an all field-no hit player. In fact I have several times expressed concern about Conrad and Thurston’s previous history as hitters at the MLB level. You need both kinds on a decent bench, and at least at the beginning of the year Norton was expected to produce as a hitter like he had done b4.
RG is right, Hanson (still laughing about the Hansen comment–of all people, you would think PL would know that) needed time in AAA. His changeup was still very much a work in progress, his control wasn’t as pinpoint as he needed it to be in order to be the type of pitcher everyone expected him to be, and he did a very poor job of finishing the opposing hitters off. I remember a few games in Gwinnett in which he throw 100 pitches in five innings. If he started 2009 in Atlanta, I have no doubt that he would not have performed as well as he did. Plus, we got the added benefit of a delayed arbitration and free agency. A true win-win.
And I really think we need to do the same thing with Kimbrel. The kid is definitely not a finished project, so why rush him at this point? He’s got the potential to be dominant, so why lower that ceiling by putting him in situations that he can’t excel at? And it’s not like we’re hurting for relievers. We’ve got good depth in the bullpen this year, so that is yet another reason why he should start in Gwinnett. We’ve got more than one guy that can do a similar job to Kimbrel, so throw that guy to the wolves while the guy that is more important to our future hones his skills for another few months.
Besides, we can always delay our future closer’s free agency, right?
March 21st, 20107:28 pm
Not only is Tommy Hansen a porn star, he’s a gay porn star
Whats your take on Mitch Jones…?
I’d rather have him on our bench at some point during the season…
What a crappy day…Time to mellow out to some Vanessa Williams and Cyndi Lauper….
March 21st, 20107:30 pm
I loved The Kinks, great music and great in concert.
jeffrey d–hence the “kinks.”
Speaking of Kinks…
March 21st, 20107:31 pm
I agree with Steve from OH
We are already deep in our bullpen, no need to rush Kimbrel, unless during the season the pen gets the injury-bug going around…
And it’s not like we’re hurting for relievers. Steve
That’s the main reason I don’t think we need to rush him. There’s no point in rushing a great prospect to become a middle reliever, especially if we have players that can get the job done. Now, we’ll see on the last part, but I have confidence in most of the guys we’ve already got penciled in down there.
I do kinda remember Tommy going real deep into a lot of counts last spring and for a short time in AAA. Though he did dominate it after several starts got him in a rhythm. Prolly could have been up right away but didn’t hurt him and likely helped him a bit. and delayed his free agency a year too, right?.
March 21st, 20107:32 pm
So yes, I’m sure Hansen has stopped by San Francisco at some point during his career
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